Going to school in Los Angeles has its pros and cons. For instance, whenever you plan on driving somewhere you must always allot for an additional 30 minutes to an hour and a half thanks to the infamous LA traffic. However, when you encounter said traffic it is usually on the way to a beautiful hike in the mountains of Runyon Canyon or to Manhattan Beach. While there are some downfalls to living in the second largest city in the United States, you also have opportunities at your disposal that you will find in no other city in the world.
Los Angeles is known for being very culturally diverse. On any given weekend you can attend cultural festivals, parades, or even immerse yourself in culture with a simple stroll in Japantown or any one of the city’s many cultural “towns”. As I am of mixed race, I greatly enjoy and appreciate learning about the cultures of those around me, and what better way to do so than by eating? After all, they say food is a universal language, right?
In my two years living in LA, my favorite cultural cuisine is without a doubt Korean Barbeque. Ask most people on campus what their favorite KBBQ spot is, and you are sure to get a slew of responses as pretty much everyone and their mothers know about Korean BBQ. One of the most common restaurants is Road to Seoul. Known for their outrageous rave-like atmosphere and delicious all-you-can-eat (yes, I said ALL you can eat) KBBQ, Road to Seoul does not disappoint with their classic Bulgogi (marinated beef) and seasoned rib meat. For a total of $18 plus tax, this place is constantly packed on the weekends, as students and Angelinos flock for the reasonably priced food that will have you feeling too full for comfort.
If you consider yourself an adventurous eater like me, there are also more exotic options. For seafood lovers most places offer baby octopus or a whole squid, or if you’re just feeling like branching out from your usual cuts of beef and pork you can order beef tongue, calf intestine, or even tripe!Most USC students will point you in the direction of all-you-can-eat KBBQ for its cheap prices and satisfying portions. However, if you’re feeling a little more ambitious (and are okay with asking Mom and Dad for a few extra bucks) you can venture into the more classic take on Korean food. Restaurants, such as Quarters, have a more traditional feel to them as you pay per plate of meat and have a waiter or waitress actually cook the meat for you, rather than the self-cook approach at all-you-can-eat joints. Although a little more expensive, these restaurants often have better quality meat and allow you to sit back and relax while you eat instead of worrying about whether or not you cooked your brisket long enough.
A Korean BBQ meal is a great way to bring a lot of friends together for a fun dinner on the weekends. With a unique experience and great ambiance, Korean Barbeque has become a tradition for my friends and me, and you can always be sure that we will come back with full stomachs.